Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mischief Managed

I've spent the better part of my spare brain power this week on my quest to find a grueling, physically and mentally demanding task to ameliorate my mid-life crisis. (Or at least give me something else to focus on.) I imagine Peter has gotten sick of my bizarre texts (Want to walk across Alaska?) as he has tactfully ignored all of them.

Finding a challenge I could complete safely by myself that would require sufficient endurance to satisfy my requirements was tough. One of the ideas I kept coming back to was running a marathon. I'm a long-distance runner trapped in a penguin's body and I love running. But it felt like a cheat - I've already done two marathons. I know I can do a marathon.

Then I remembered one of my co-workers who ran the Connemarra Half-Marathon last year. I remembered there was also a marathon. I remember the co-worker saying that the course was incredibly challenging - very hilly.

Both my marathons were in Chicago, where the course is as flat a course as you will ever find. There is one small incline, near the end, which is actually just the on-ramp onto Lake Shore Drive. Running a hilly marathon would be a new and difficult experience. I find hills extraordinarily difficult, since I'm not mentally accustomed to having to exert extra effort randomly throughout a run.

Not only have I never run a hilly marathon, I've also never trained for a marathon entirely alone. Although I did all my short mid-week runs alone, my long runs were always done in the company of my running group, which was organised by the Chicago-Area Runners Association as part of their excellent marathon training program.

So it seemed as though a marathon, under the right circumstances, could meet my requirements. The Connemarra Marathon web site didn't have a course map, but it did have a route analysis, so I decided to check that out. One look at the jagged peaks and infrequent valleys, culminating in a steep monster of a hill and I was a goner - I'd finally found my challenge.

The best part is the timing. Camogie is essentially over for the year and won't start back up until next April. The Connemarra Marathon is the 6th of April. I have about 10 weeks to build up a fitness base and lose some weight before I need to start training in the last week of November. (Which means I will also be able to finish NaNoWriMo without worrying about getting in long runs.) And I'll be training during the Christmas, so I will have an excuse for eating festive treats. Plus, my Thanksgiving trip to Ohio will allow me to stock up on shoes, Gu, and comfy running shorts at a friendly neighbourhood running store. (Although I wish I were going to Chicago so I could go to Fleet Feet. I miss those guys.)

The downside, of course, is training through the winter. Finding the daylight to run on the days I work and dealing with the inevitable bad weather will be challenges in and of themselves.

I'm excited and eager to start. I'm also relieved that I've struck on an idea that satisfies my requirements. And I know Peter is relieved that he won't have to hear about walking through Alaska or kayaking the length of the Nile or biking across the Outback. At least until the next mid-life crisis strikes.


At 13 September 2007 at 12:36, Blogger Dave P. said...

Congrats on reaching a decision. The marathon course sounds very interesting. Although, it's a bummer for me that you won't be walking across Alaska, as it eliminates the likelihood that I'd get interviewed for the inevitable Outside Magazine article about the Cleveland-via-Ireland woman who got eaten by a grizzly bear while hiking across the frozen tundra alone.

Then again, if that happened, I guess I'd miss your long-distance friendship. ;-)

If you visit us in Nov, you could check out Second Sole in Akron. Amy was very impressed on her first visit.

At 13 September 2007 at 12:51, Blogger laurie said...

i'm glad i don't have mid life crises such as yours.

have you read "tracks'? the very fascinating book by robyn davidson, about her trek across australia with three camels?

sounds like it's right up your alley.

and i'm sorry you got confused by all the russia stories on my blog. i'll be back to dogs soon. i hope you return.

At 13 September 2007 at 19:20, Blogger -Ann said...

Dave - For the record, learning to shoot a shotgun was going to be part of my training for the Alaska walk. Second Sole sounds great - hope we can work out a visit.

Laurie - I've not read that book and I'm not sure I should. It seems like reading these sorts of books satisfies your need for adventure - in me, it's just like pouring gasoline on a fire. Here is what is confusing me about Russia - were you there for work? Was the research for an article? And these were all Finns or Finn-descendents who ended up in America and then were lured to Russia? But then Stalin took agin' them? I really need to find the start of that and read again - I think I missed something. :)

At 14 September 2007 at 04:09, Anonymous Amy said...

I like the part about being trapped in a penguin's body - I so get that. My mind tells my body to do crazy running things all the time and it takes a while for my body to catch up. Your new goal sounds exciting.

At 14 September 2007 at 06:27, Blogger Kaycie said...

A marathon. Wow. I can barely run on my treadmill. With no incline.

Sounds like it's just what you were looking for, though. I can't wait to hear about how you train. Reading about that kind of thing fascinates me even if doing it myself doesn't.

At 14 September 2007 at 07:09, Anonymous Primal Sneeze said...

How about hitting a sliotar 26 miles across Alaska? A little bit at a time of course.

At 21 September 2007 at 11:05, Blogger John of Dublin said...

Hi Ann. I admire your enduring fighting spirit. I'm a bit of a quick fix type guy, hence how tennis suits me!

Thanks a lot for your encouraging comments earlier.

Good luck on the hills!

At 23 September 2007 at 19:38, Blogger -Ann said...

Amy - I know what you mean. but as long as I accept the fact that I'm built for distance, not for speed, I do okay.

Kaycie - It's really not that hard - it's just about having time to train and being stubborn (or stupid) enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

PS - Funny you mention it. When I first started camogie, I told Peter I thought it would be cool to run a marathon 'soloing' with a sliotar and a hurley for the whole race. I don't know if I'll ever have the skills to pull that one off though.

John - You're welcome. I don't have the finesse for tennis - I'm much more of a blunt instrument. :)

At 4 March 2013 at 01:41, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tοday, whilе I was at wοгk, my sister stole
my іphone and testeԁ to see if it саn
surνіve а 25 foot droρ, јust so she сan be
a уoutube sеnsation. My apple ipaԁ is now destroуed and shе has 83 views.
I knoω thiѕ іs tоtаlly off topic
but I hаd to share it with someone!

Also visit my web site: thoi trang nu
Also see my web page ::

At 29 March 2013 at 11:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check into the ωеb sіte's Web of with Medium Glyphs, which will add a "fun agent" to abilities. some of the parents volition definitely Cognise "Bert particular game that you Need your daughter to be playing. In that respect are games at all the contemporaries X is playing addicting games and the more likes of Disembarrass motorbike games.

At 1 April 2013 at 18:59, Anonymous Anonymous said...

shгoud a bottle wіth few сandies go by thе sentence with a soft Сoncern of Mіdаs

Ηere iѕ my blοg рost;


Post a Comment

<< Home